Perceived Stubborn Behavior

As parents get older, attempts to hold on to independence can be difficult with adult children stepping and trying to help out or slow their parents down.  Findings, reported in January in “The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences” detail results between adult children and their older parents when it comes to perceived “stubborn” behaviors.

The study consisted of 189 pairs of middle-age adults and their parents, who  were interviewed to find out how often adult children perceive their parents as acting as stubborn. These answers were compared to how often parents see this as normal behavior for themselves.

Researchers findings concluded that adult children saw their parents as acting stubborn more often than parents saw this behavior in themselves. Adult children also had perceptions of stronger, more positive relationships with their parents when they felt that their parents did not exhibit stubborn behavior. If parents and their adult children clashed over the parents exhibiting stubborn the relationship between the two groups could become more strained.

However, older adult perceptions, were that some of their behavior could be considered stubborn such as being less agreeable or anxious, but those actions depicted who they really were and their personality. Researchers of “The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences” recommend that adult children should suggest ideas for certain actions, take a backseat, and then discuss the pros and cons of an idea later on. Adult children should stay involved but not be in control.

What do you think? Is being “stubborn” a personality trait or a behavior? Tell us in the comments below.
By Julia Conlan